Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Audiobook by Susannah Cahalan is the autobiography of Susannah Cahalan published in 2012. The book depicts Cahalan’s issues with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and the process through which she was diagnosed of this.
The author recalls her story of going violent and mad. An otherwise even-tempered person, she went violent and once also ripped off her electrodes and started running through the hospital corridors. Her friends and family were shocked and unable to understand what is happening. They documented notes to keep each other informed and updated of the developments. The team of doctors were conducting all sorts of medical tests on her to understand her symptoms but in vain. The medical bills soared up to $1 million.
Her doctor, Souhel Najjar asked her to draw a clock. She drew a one-sided clock which showed that only one side of her brain was working properly. After further medical examinations, Najjar concluded that Cahalan had contracted a rare and fatal autoimmune disease known as NMDA receptor encephalitis, an attack on the brain by the body’s immune system. Timely diagnosis was critical for her proper treatment and recovery. The book also provides insights into her life after recovery where her reactions to her watching her psychotic behavior in the hospital is also provided. She also discusses her symptoms prior to her hospitalization as she was previously diagnosed by a psychiatrist with bipolar disorder. She also found out that the disease had been discovered only three years prior to she being diagnosed with it.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Audiobook by Susannah Cahalan is a truly surreal and engrossing read. The author had to depend upon her family, friends and the medical team looking after her for writing the book. She does a commendable job of doing so and the book is very well-researched.
Though the book is an autobiography and memoir, it has been written in a sharp manner and reads like a novel. The readers will be completely engaged in the narrative. The book oscillates between a heart-warming and commendable person triumph and a medical thriller. It is a highly recommended read and will be highly appreciated by readers interested in science and biographies.